Senate confirms FCC chair to another term

Senate confirms FCC chair to another term
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The Senate on Monday voted 52-41 to confirm Ajit Pai to another term as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

“I am deeply grateful to the U.S. Senate for confirming my nomination to serve a second term at the FCC and to President Trump for submitting that nomination to the Senate," Pai said in a statement.
 
"Since January, the Commission has focused on bridging the digital divide, promoting innovation, protecting consumers and public safety, and making the FCC more open and transparent."
 
Pai was approved with support from 48 Republicans and four Democrats: Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump Jr. to hold fundraiser for Manchin challenger History argues for Democratic Senate gains Pollster: Kavanaugh will get Dem votes MORE (W.Va.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillHistory argues for Democratic Senate gains Polling analyst: Same Dems who voted for Gorsuch will vote for Kavanaugh Pollster: Kavanaugh will get Dem votes MORE (Mo.), Gary PetersGary Charles PetersThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments Dem senator: Kavanaugh sides with 'wealthiest special interests' Judge on Trump shortlist boasts stint on Michigan's high court MORE (Mich.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterTrump Jr. to hold fundraiser for Manchin challenger History argues for Democratic Senate gains Overnight Defense: Trump inviting Putin to DC | Senate to vote Monday on VA pick | Graham open to US-Russia military coordination in Syria MORE (Mont.).
 
"Ajit and I have been working together on a number of ways to bridge the digital divide in our country, especially in West Virginia, including adopting the Mobility Fund II, improving the accuracy of broadband coverage maps, and tailoring the Remote Areas Fund to reach the places that need it most," Manchin said in a statement. "I look forward to working with Ajit and the Commission to make sure that all Americans and West Virginians have access to broadband.”
 
But other Democrats vocally opposed his confirmation, hammering him in a series of floor speeches over his efforts to roll back Obama-era regulations, in particular the net neutrality rules.
 
“The FCC is tasked with the critical role of protecting consumers and promoting innovation in the telecommunications and technological fields that are becoming more and more integral to our day to day lives,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerData confirm that marijuana decriminalization is long overdue Pollster: Kavanaugh will get Dem votes Democrats slam Trump for considering Putin’s ’absurd’ request to question Americans MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement ahead of the vote.

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“However, over his time at the FCC and particularly in his tenure as Chairman so far, Mr. Pai has established a clear record of favoring big corporations at the expense of consumers, innovators, and small businesses,” he said.

Pai is repealing the Obama-era net neutrality rules, which require internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally.

Democrats also blasted Pai for clearing the way for Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune and limiting the number of companies participating in an internet access subsidy program.

But Republicans who control the chamber were behind Pai, who was in no danger, needing only a simple majority for confirmation.